ROE V WADE OVERTURNED: Companies promise to support their employees

30 Jun 2022

Supreme Court made abortion legal across the US after a landmark legal ruling in 1973, Roe v Wade.

On 24th June 2022, six out of nine Supreme Court justices voted in favour of upholding the 2018 Mississippi state ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Major American companies have come forward and have pledged to pay for the travel costs of their workers that are located in the states that have placed a ban on abortions.

Disney, Citigroup, Meta, Sony, Douglas Elliman and Patagonia are some of the firms that are included in helping to support their employees.

Background: Roe v Wade

In 1970, Jane Roe, a name used in court to protect the plaintiff’s identity, filed a lawsuit against Henry Wade, the district attorney of Dallas County, Texas, with claims of sexual assault. Roe challenged Texas law making abortions illegal except by a doctor’s orders to save a women’s life.

In Roe’s lawsuit, it was expressed that the state laws were unconstitutionally “vague” and “abridged her right of personal privacy”, protected by the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments.

It was revealed in court that seven of it’s nine justices had voted in favour of Ms Roe which meant a change to the constitution, and regardless of any sate laws which ban abortions, every woman in the US has the right to one within the first 12 weeks of their pregnancy and some rights beyond that.

Another ruling in 1982, Planned Parenthood v Casey, developed from Roe v Wade; this case was to put more abortion rights into the constitution.

It was decided that states could have their own laws on abortion but could not include anything that creates an “undue burden” or “substantial obstacle” to a woman seeking an abortion up to 24 weeks. In Pennsylvania, under the states Abortion Control Act’s, requirements were to notify a woman’s spouse before having a termination was deemed unconstitutional.

In 2018, Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organisation case, was a piece of legislation passed by the state of Mississippi, banning abortion after 15 weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest. Dobbs argues on behalf of the state that it should be allowed to enforce the ban, however the constitutional abortion rights revoked cases Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey with the Supreme Court ruling in favour of Dobbs.

This meant that the laws are now having to be dealt with individual states instead.

MicrosoftTeams-image-1.png#asset:11813Graph from Sky News

A total of 22 of 50 states will now move to ban abortions as soon as possible.

Reaction from U.S companies

After the ruling overturning, there have been many responses from the corporate world, with organisations including Bloomberg, Citigroup and Alaska Airlines all promising to cover travel expenses for employees in states where medial procedures will be banned.

Bank of America and Goldman Sachs are also said to be expanding their list of medical treatments that make it eligible for employees to reimburse their travel expenses to services including reproductive health care.

From July 1st, one of America’s largest banks, JPMorgan Chase, said that employees will be eligible for travel benefits in order to obtain an abortion if they can’t access one within 50 miles from their home. The multinational investment bank are also expanding their healthcare benefits, which was originally only available for certain services such as organ transplants.

Apple also came forward to say that they will cover all the medical costs and travel for treatment for its retail workers.

Dell Technologies, computer maker in Texas, where abortions are soon to be banned, said that their employees’ health and well-being remains its priority.

“We continue to work with our healthcare plan administrators to ensure the health coverage we offer provides access to all types of covered care, even when providers are not available in a team member’s home location.” Spokesperson for the company said in a statement.

Many more have come forward in helping to support their employees across firms in America.

Extra support?

This overruling has put over 33 million women at risk of losing abortion access in America and their states now have the right to prosecute anyone seeking to abort. Without constitutional protections, clinics in some states that are currently still providing legal abortions are expected to close within months and even days.

There are currently 25 million women every year forced to resort to dangerous and unsafe methods to terminate pregnancies, which also affects women and girls living in poverty in the US.

There are currently several ways for people in America and outside of the US to help women who are seeking extra support.

Charities and Funds

There are many different services that are offering help and advice to those directly affected by the Supreme Court ruling.

Planned Parenthood

The health care provider has over 600 clinics in the United States that provide abortion services as well as birth control, testing and treatment for STIs, and cancer screenings. Planned Parenthood Action Fund is a nonprofit, non-partisan group that help to defend productive rights in the states across the country.

Abortion Funds

The National Network of Abortion Funds helps to remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access by providing financial support as well as transportation, childcare and accommodation.

Keep Our Clinics

The campaign is lead by the Abortion Care Network to fund and support independent clinics in helping to provide life-saving abortion care.